Ashokan roadside pissing at sunset
Tuesday, August 25 2020
I was working actively this morning in the remote workplace when my boss Alex called me as he was driving to the office in Red Hook office because he needed a copy of a large (6 gigabyte) database. As good as the broadband is here, the VPN remains a grave bottleneck to transferring such files. So I told him I'd meet him at the office. I ended up working a whole day there in the office with Alex and two other guys, all of us only in the office due to the crunch of municipal tax season in New York State. I'd taken a recreational 150 mg dose of pseudoephedrine, which probably helped me somewhat with my mental focus, though at one point I had a somewhat uncomfortable wave of tension in my chest. There aren't all that many people back working in the office complex, so I didn't feel particularly skeeved out about shared spaces such as the back men's room where I like to poop. As I was walking back there today, I saw that the daycare center in the back building was actually operating at diminished capacity, with a couple adults in masks providing outdoor story time to five or six children. That sort of staff-to-student ratio can't be cheap.
We weren't quite done with all we needed to do when I had to bug out at 5:00pm. Gretchen had arranged for Powerful and me to join her at a little send-off party for her young bookselling co-worker Rachel, who would be driving to Colorado in a few days to attend college out there. The party was being held in Woodstock at a house belonging to James, one of the owners of the bookstore. Since I was delayed, Gretchen and Powerful drove there on their own in the Prius (I was in the Nissan Leaf).
Meanwhile, I stopped at the Stewarts on the south end of Red Hook to get a road beer, which turned out to be really important, because I don't think the drinks being served at James' place contained alcohol.
There were about a baker's dozen of us in the back patio area having a modest socially-distanced time. James' husband (who, until very recently, ran food services at Bard College) had made sure than nearly all the food was vegan. So, despite it all being appetizers, I managed to compensate for the fact that I hadn't had a proper lunch. The scene and conversation at Rachel's party was very bookstore-centric, and felt bad for Powerful, who didn't really have much to contribute. There was, however, a fair amount of political conversation. It focused mostly on the craziness of this week's Republican National Convention, particularly the crazed shouting of Kimberly Guilfoyle, girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr. I had no idea that she is also the ex-wife of Democratic darling Gavin Newsom, current governor of California. Jackie is one of the other owner of the bookstore, and her husband Bennett regaled us with tales of gigs that had paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars per month (these mostly related to dealing with blackmail and getting celebrity fugitives from one part of the world to another).
In addition to the adult humans at the party, there were a couple little kids. One was a baby with an unexpectedly adultlike upright walking posture and and an older sister named Thia who wore her mask religiously. There were also a couple of adorable dogs: fat short-legged Delta who ate anything that fell on the ground (including chunks of fresh tomato) and big, deaf Nitro, who kept trying to eat Thia's hair. Nitro was a little too much dog to have a party with little kids, but he barked his big deaf-dog misery bark whenever he couldn't be with us.
Powerful and I left as the others began to leave, though Gretchen stayed a bit later. On the drive home, I had to piss so bad that I pulled over to do it in the little parking area near where Dike Road meets Route 28A (41.975497N, 74.102897W). The sunset had just happened beyond the Catskills, and there were a fair number of pedestrians who had been watching it along the southeast edge of the Ashokan Reservoir.
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